Reynoldston Research & Studies

Reynoldston Research And Studies

Reynoldston Research And Studies has been involved in the development and creation of oral history in New York State and British Columbia since 1969 

During this time the work of the Reynoldston Reseach and Studies has been well funded both in New York State and British Columbia. This has resulted in extensive oral history collections in both places.  An extensive number of  books and publications based on these oral histories, as well as catologues, manuals in both Canada and the United Staes have been produced. The ongoing work of Reynoldston Research continues today with this website and a renewed commitment to making these collections more accessible and better known.  Additional publications are also planned. 

It is our goal to continue the work of, and the preservation and expansion of the Reynoldston Research and Studies Collections and Publications. 

New York State History 

In 1969, Mr. W. Langlois learned about oral history and with his friend, Robert H. McGowan, both in their third year of college in New York State (Mr. Langlois at Harpur College and Mr. McGowan at Hamilton College) began to conduct interviews on the mill and logging community of Reynoldston, New York.  This is an area where Mr. Langlois’ ancestors had settled in 1869.  

They spent the next year interviewing  seventeen individuals,  all of whom either lived in or had lived in Reynoldston.  Many of these interviewees were related to Mr. Langlois.  Over sixty tapes were created during this period  (1969-1971).  In addition a large number of photographs provided by the interviewees were collected and duplicated onto slides.  They also conducted a wide rangeing search of historical sources. 

During this time a short story titled New Year’s Eve in Reynoldston was written and published in “York State Tradition Summer 1970 and is found on this website. In this time period, Mr. Langlois and Mr. McGowan completed a draft manuscript for a book on Reynoldston. 

In 1970, Mr. Langlois was awarded a research grant by the State of New York for an expanded
oral history project working with Mr McGowan.

The new oral history research was to include early histories of pioneers in Franklin County, New York State.  Together they interviewed over 40 individuals and created 100 hours of tape. Copies of many of the tapes and transcripts from the Franklin County  Collection are held at institutions in New York State.   

In 2009, Mr. Langlois again began working on the Reynoldston, N.Y. tapes, transcripts, photos and manuscripts.   Mr. McGowan also joined in the project and today they are working on the material again after forty years. The Langlois/Bordeaux family still holds property and has a camp in Reynoldston.

Oral History in British Columbia

In 1971, W. Langlois moved to Canada and attendedthe University of British Columbia.  Almost immediately upon arrival, in BC, early in 1972, he was approached to undertake an oral history project of the cultural communities of the Province of British Columbia.  During the next two years, the projectinterviewed and photo documented the lives of dozens of people from various ethnic backgrounds about their contributions to the development of the Province of British Columbia.  Over 700 hours of tapes were created and transcribed.

In 1974, he convinced the Government of British Columbia to establish the oral/aural history program for BC at the Provincial Archives in Victoria, BC.  While Director of Aural/oral History, he traveled in western Canada and the northwestern United States to help establish oral history programs in a number of provinces and states.  

In addition in the 1970’s he wrote and edited manuals on how to do oral history that are still used around the world.   He also created and edited Sound Heritage, 1972-1984,  a very popular forty volumes series, that used oral history interviews to reconstruct the history of the Province  of BC.  In addition several books were edited and published again using oral history as their basis.  As well thousands of hours of taped interviews, were collected for preservation in the Provincial Archives.




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